Jason Licht, Buccaneers Reportedly Agree on 1-Year Contract Extension

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistAugust 1, 2018

Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht speaks during a press conference at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Michael Conroy/Associated Press

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers extended the contract of general manager Jason Licht by one season Wednesday, keeping him under contract through the 2019 campaign, according to Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times.

Licht, 47, has served as the team's GM since 2014.

Under Licht, the Buccaneers have gone just 22-42, with one winning season in 2016 (9-7). The team had high expectations ahead of the 2017 campaign but underperformed dramatically, going 5-11. 

Part of that was due to the performance of Jameis Winston, the top overall pick in the 2015 draft and the player whom Licht's tenure in Tampa Bay is tethered to going forward. Winston, 24, threw for 3,504 yards but only 19 touchdowns and 11 interceptions, completing 63.8 percent of his passes in 13 games. 

In his career, Winston has thrown 44 interceptions in 45 games, and off-field concerns remain prevalent, with the quarterback suspended three contests to start the 2018 season for groping a female Uber driver in 2016. 

If Winston doesn't emerge from his suspension as a top player—and if the Buccaneers don't show serious growth this season—both Licht and head coach Dirk Koetter will find themselves on the proverbial hot seat.

Licht has uncovered some good players in the NFL draft, with wide receiver Mike Evans, offensive lineman Ali Marpet and linebacker Kwon Alexander highlighting his track record in that regard. But the 2018 season is a prove-it year for Licht, Koetter and Winston. Fail to post a winning record, and Tampa Bay could look a whole lot different next season.

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